In 1936, the United States Armed Forces teamed up with Bausch and Lomb to produce anti-light goggles to help fighter pilots cope with eye strain at high altitudes. The result is what you probably know: aviator sunglasses with convex teardrop-shaped lenses and a thin metal frame. Originally called “Anti-Glares”, the frames were renamed “Ray-Ban” when they were released to the public.
Ray-Ban sunglasses have graced some of the most famous faces of the past 100 years, from mirrored aviators on General Douglas Macarthur (by the way, the first mirrored sunglasses ever produced) to black Wayfarers on the Blue Brothers. Chances are, you’re a fan of one of the brand’s three classic styles: the Wayfarer, Aviator, and Round sunglasses.
These are iconic for good reason, but if you’re looking to upgrade your standard shades to something new, there are a number of solid choices. Here are some of our favorites.
Krewe x Billy Reid Howell Sunglasses
If you wear Wayfarer sunglasses: This fall, an Alabama-based designer teamed up with New Orleans-based eyewear brand Krewe for a fresh take on some classic styles. The Howell Sunglasses feature a sculpted acetate frame, amber gradient lenses, and 24k gold hardware. They’re fancy, effortlessly stylish, and relatively affordable – hard to dispute that.
BUY NOW: $ 255
Garrett Leight California Optical Marr Sunglasses
If you wear Aviator sunglasses: These square aviators from Los Angeles eyewear brand GLCO have a number of subtle design enhancements. The gold-tone stainless steel frame has lens edges and tortoiseshell temple tips. The subtle front bar is accented by the gold hinges and the semi-flat Brown Smoke lenses have an anti-reflective coating.
BUY NOW: $ 365
Barton Perreira x Robert Geller Harald sunglasses
If you wear round sunglasses: Handcrafted in Japan, these titanium frames are the result of a refined collaboration between one of the best brands in the business, Barton Perreira, and legendary menswear designer Robert Geller. The vintage-inspired style features subtle filigree details on the bridge and temples (the textured temples are joined seamlessly with the acetate temple ends). For the most classic style, choose Bottle Green CR-39 lenses with an anti-reflective coating. If you want something more daring, go for the Cherry Moon Mirror gradient lenses.
BUY NOW: $ 565
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